Neonatal sepsis: progress towards improved outcomes

J Infect. 2014 Jan;68 Suppl 1:S24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2013.09.011. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Abstract

Neonates are predisposed to infections during the perinatal period due to multiple exposures and a relatively compromised immune system. The burden of disease attributed to neonatal infections varies by geographic region and maternal and neonatal risk factors. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 1.4 million neonatal deaths annually are the consequence of invasive infections. Risk factors for early-onset neonatal sepsis (EOS) include prematurity, immunologic immaturity, maternal Group B streptococcal colonization, prolonged rupture of membranes, and maternal intra-amniotic infection. Intrapartum antimicrobial prophylaxis administered to GBS-colonized women has reduced the burden of disease associated with early onset GBS invasive infections. Active surveillance has identified Gram-negative pathogens as an emerging etiology of early-onset invasive infections. Late-onset neonatal sepsis (LOS) attributable to Gram-positive organisms, including coagulase negative Staphylococci and Staphylococcus aureus, is associated with increased morbidity and mortality among premature infants. Invasive candidiasis is an emerging cause of late-onset sepsis, especially among infants who receive broad spectrum antimicrobial agents. Prophylactic fluconazole administration to very low birthweight (VLBW) neonates during the first 6 weeks of life reduces invasive candidiasis in neonatal intensive care units with high rates of fungal infection. Prevention of healthcare associated infections through antimicrobial stewardship, limited steroid use, early enteral feeding, limited use of invasive devices and standardization of catheter care practices, and meticulous hand hygiene are important and cost-effective strategies for reducing the burden of late-onset neonatal sepsis.

Keywords: Burden; Management; Neonatal sepsis; Prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / methods
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Candidemia / diagnosis
  • Candidemia / drug therapy
  • Candidemia / epidemiology
  • Candidemia / mortality
  • Global Health
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / mortality
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / mortality
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infection Control / methods
  • Organizational Policy
  • Risk Factors
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Sepsis / therapy*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents